Children and Young People
Our work focuses on assessing youth-friendly health services, access to information and keeping healthy
For further information on our work and volunteering opportunities contact our Children and Young People Lead, Natalia Sali on tel no: 020 7095 5765 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why children and young people?
Investing in children and young people’s health early on in their lives is critical. This age marks the beginning of risk-taking behaviour, the start of a sexual life, and a time when life-long health behaviours are set in place. In order for children and young people to make informed choices, they need to have access to timely and appropriate help and support.
Our focus areas
We know from our previous engagement work, that many young people do not know where to go for help and fear judgement if they access mental health and sexual health services
We are working with young people on small projects to best understand where we can make a difference and tackle these issues. We will be developing our Children and Young People’s Engagement Strategy with a special focus on:
Using our power to Enter and View to assess services
In collaboration with 15 students from five schools, namely Christ the King Sixth Form, Dunraven School, La Retraite Roman Catholic’s Girls School, Wimbledon High School, and St. Martin’s School, we have completed Enter and View visit to assess the youth-friendliness of paediatric services at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 2018. The overall feeling was that the areas we visited were more child friendly than young people friendly in terms of décor, entertainment and information provision. Adolescent patients reported very few issues with the care they received.
This year, we also carried out a visit with young people to the Evelina London Children's Hospital kidney transplant unit. All respondents said that good quality care and the opportunity to participate are the aspects that matter most to them. It appeared that those were being achieved.
Looking after their health
We interviewed young people in 2016 to understand how they look after their health (physical, mental, and sexual). We found that there is poor knowledge among young people about sexual health, particularly around sexually transmitted infections, and when and where to get tested. Also, several young people also mentioned being anxious and worried about local gang activity.
Emotional wellbeing and mental health
We spoke with eight young people from one secondary school on their perception and understanding of their own mental health and emotional wellbeing. They told us that relationships with adult family members, the school, with peers and the police are big factors that affect their mental health and wellbeing. They also said that feelings of unfair treatment and negative labelling by adults made building relationships very difficult. Plus the normal daily impact of school pressures and social media is affecting their emotional wellbeing.
Volunteer with us
Engagement of children and young people is at the heart of what we do. We encourage young people to work with us and take part in our engagement and insight gathering activities such as events, research and Enter and View.
If you are a young person between 14 and 25 years old and would like to gain additional skills and have a say in health and social care services, do contact us. You will be trained to undertake your preferred tasks.